Master Bedroom Makeover 2015 - Refurbishing Bedside Cabinets and Making Chalk Paint

Over the last few weeks we have been decorating the master bedroom in our new home. This room was quite high on my list when we first moved in, firstly because I think it important that the bedroom is a nice relaxing place and secondly because the previous owner's decor in this room did not really fit our personal preferences. Over the next few posts I wanted to share with you how we have refurbished the entire room.

For this room I had managed to secure a few pieces on Ebay which I wanted to refurbish with a white finish. I wanted to refurbish rather than buy because the few cheap options I found looked just that and I didn't want to blow our entire house budget on the one room. It seems to be an issue with white furniture and not something I've necessarily had a problem with before. Also, having read lots of blog posts and being obsessed with Kirstie Allsopps many tv creations I really wanted to give refurbishing a go.



For our bedside tables I managed to secure these fantastic Marks and Spencer bedside tables for £82 for both on Ebay. Being Marks and Spencer they are good solid pieces of furniture, with very little signs of wear. They also have a large tabletop which was one of the key selling points for me.

Having tried chalk paint on some storage boxes, we thought this would be the way to go for the furniture in the room; mainly because it is hassle free and easy to use. However, the price point was a bit of a sticking point for us. We had worked out we'd need at least 4 tins to do all the furniture in the room and at £16 a tin, it started to seem a bit ridiculous to buy second hand furniture to save money and then spend the same amount again just refurbishing them. So, we did a bit of research online and decided to have a go at making our own chalk paint.

To make the chalk paint we used plaster of paris and a standard white silk emulsion paint. To make up a batch we used 1/3 cup plaster of paris; 1/3 cup water and 1 cup of the paint. We later found that we needed a bit more paint in the mix to give it a better coverage and consistency.

In total we did 4 coats of the paint on the units, cupboards and drawers and did an extra 5th coat on the top of the units as this would suffer the most use. The picture  below shows how the layers built up with each coat. We found that it was important to paint in one direction for the entire coat to avoid streaking lines and to paint in the opposite direction for the next coat to get the best coverage.



We found the paint dried really quickly, in less than an hour when we were painting inside. We did some painting outside in the sunshine and found the paint dried even quicker - you could literally start again as soon as you had finished the unit. This isn't as great as it sounds because you can't claim you're waiting for the paint to dry every time you want a break! ;-) It also means that if you have a drop of paint or make a mistake, you need to catch it straight away so it doesn't dry.

We used a spray on lacquer from Wilko to finish off the tables, doing two coats across the unit and three coats on the top and around the handles - where there would be the most usage. We left them overnight to dry. I also at this point spray painted the handles from the unit in gold and finished them with a coat of the spray on lacquer.

The next morning we put them back together. This is where I was disappointed. The paint was no where near as hard wearing as we thought and it chipped in a few places just from us putting them back together. Fortunately it was only a couple of points and I can easily touch them up, but it doesn't bode well for their longevity as regularly used bedside cabinets.


I am pleased with the way these turned out aesthetically, it is exactly what I was aiming for and the white paint has really revitalised these traditional style bedside cabinets. I am however diappointed with the quality of the finish but I think we may need to play around with the mixture a bit more - better luck next time!

Have you had a go at refurbishing furniture with chalk paint? How did it go? Have you tried any homemade chalk paint recipes?
Speak soon x

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